September 23rd, 2002

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Timing is everything

(Before we start, a big shout out to former Keble College flatmate, LJ newcomer and all-round good egg Guybrush Threep... er... zorac!)

There are some interesting (possibly subconscious) psychological effects at work, I feel, in the decision whether or not to reply to someone's LiveJournal posting. It's an artifact of LiveJournal being such an immediate, bordering on ephemeral, form of communication. When you see an interesting new posting but a relatively large number of people have replied to it already, it's easy to perceive that your further reply might not make much difference or that you don't have anything to add to the topic that hasn't already been said. Furthermore, the older a posting is, it seems logical to assume that the fewer people will read it in the future. As part of the reward for making a comment is the prospect that someone might reply to it, the incentive to reply is rather less. By extension, there also seems to be an unwritten rule that you can only reply to a person's most recent posting - or that their most recent posting is where to look for ongoing debate. In an extreme case, there is a sense in which it's almost slightly uncool to be seen to be the person making the last reply on a page as it implies that you aren't as dedicated a LJ participant as those making the fastest replies.

For the record, I don't want to encourage such feelings. You should generally assume that when I post something in my LJ, I am happy to talk about it, keen to hear what other people have to say on the matter and that I am very likely to enjoy what you have to say on the subject. I am also very likely to appreciate you taking the time and effort to put your thoughts into words, irrespective of whenever you care to discuss it. Don't feel that you need to craft an original, brilliant response in order for it to be worthwile; even a "me too" lets me know you care.

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Silly Acronym Lightly Amused My Intellect

Everyone loves bad film villains. The hallmark of a good bad film villain is an evil organisation with a fantastic acronym explaining - or proclaiming - just how naughty it is.

A US regional airline called Midwest Express are in a pay dispute with their workers, who have implemented random strikes and other work disruptions. The name of these workers' industrial action is CHAOS - Create Havoc Around Our System.

Hold on, I've missed something there. It actually is CHAOS™.

Dr. Evil - Dr. Evil™? - would be proud.